Nova Scotia

British sailors accused in gang rape of Nova Scotia woman granted bail

Four British sailors accused in the gang rape of a woman at 12 Wing Shearwater in Nova Scotia has been granted bail and ordered to stay in Nova Scotia.

All 4 Royal Navy members ordered to surrender passports and stay in Nova Scotia

The four British sailors were released on their own recognizance on $3,000 bail each. They have been charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm. (Facebook)

Four British sailors accused of gang-raping a woman at 12 Wing Shearwater in Nova Scotia have been granted bail and ordered to stay in the province.

The four men, who were in Halifax to play in a hockey tournament against Canadian teams, are alleged to have participated in the "group sexual assault" of a civilian woman in the barracks at the Halifax-area military base late on the evening of April 9 or early April 10.

All four appeared in provincial court in Dartmouth Monday for a bail hearing.

The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service charged each man with one count of sexual assault causing bodily harm and one count of sexual assault committed with one or more other persons.

The accused are:

  • Craig Stoner, 24, of Stonehouse.
  • Darren Smalley, 35, of Gosport. 
  • Joshua Finbow, 23, of Stockbridge.
  • Simon Radford, 31, of Lower Gosport.​

The men have no prior convictions and were released on their own recognizance on $3,000 bail each.

Crown attorney Eric Taylor said the bail amount was reasonable under the circumstances.

"Cash deposits are often based on where an accused will be and since these four individuals appear to be planning to reside locally, we determined cash bail based on that amount," he said. "If it looked as though they would be living far away from the jurisdiction of the court, we'd be seeking a greater cash bail."

The accused have been ordered to remain in Nova Scotia, surrender their passports within the next two days and stay at 12 Wing Shearwater.

Crown attorney Eric Taylor says none of the accused asked to go back to Britain. (CBC)

They have also been ordered not to have contact with seven people and not possess firearms.

All had their next court appearance set for May 27.

Crown attorney Eric Taylor says the four accused will apply to live in Atlantic block at Stadacona. He said they are not under house arrest and are free to come and go as they wish.

He said none of them asked to return to Britain. They must remain employed by the Royal Navy as one of their release conditions.

Taylor said the investigation is still in the early stages.

"A lot of forensic material has been gathered, it will be sent for testing, and depending on the outcome of the testing … there may be additional charges," he said.

The charges carry a potential prison term of 14 years.

The four sailors were represented by duty counsel for Monday's proceedings, but Taylor said he believes they will have private lawyers for their next court appearance.

Michael O'Sullivan of the British High Commission said he was meeting with the sailors today, although he would not elaborate.

The four appeared in court Friday and were held in custody over the weekend at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth.